The proposals have attracted widespread criticism from a variety of sources. The introduction of ID cards together with an accompanying national identity register was widely opposed, as was the increased retention of data on the DNA national database, particularly the decision to store the DNA of large numbers of innocent people. Other recent legislation concerned with protecting rights and freedoms includes the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) which provides members of the public with a right to request access to information held by public authorities or by persons providing services for them. Whereas in an authoritarian regime, everyone still has the human right of free speech, but they don’t have civil liberties to protect them in exercising that right freely, and therefore may be persecuted for speaking out against government. Human Rights and Civil Liberties in the UK Whilst the UK may not have a written constitution, setting out the civil liberties and rights of its citizens, it has a long common law history of recognising certain freedoms. Here are 3 ways our rights and liberties are being restricted in incredibly concerning ways in the UK: The freedom of assembly (essentially the right to gather, which allows us to peacefully protest) has been massively restricted under new coronavirus laws to prevent further spread of the disease. "Designed to keep the press and public in the dark, these proposals will have serious implications for media freedom and the rights of potential victims and their families seeking answers or reparation through the courts or inquest proceedings." The Labour government elected in 1997 was frequently accused of running a "nanny state", but by the time of the 2010 general election, criticisms had increased to more serious accusations of excessive state interference and state control, infringements of civil liberties and a gradual erosion of the rights of the individual. The Act benefits civil liberties as it removes the 'stop and search' regulations of the Terrorism Act 2000. No. This last point is particularly worrying as it clearly curtails freedom of speech, and means that media and opposition figures and members of civil society can be jailed for speaking out against government actions. While human rights are considered universal, different countries will choose to recognise different civil liberties to a larger or lesser extent. Civil liberties are essential to a thriving democracy and guarantee citizens’ rights. It may be argued that civil liberties have been restricted, but a view on counter terrorism presents the state of affairs is not as appalling as thought of by the critics. We will introduce a Freedom Bill. The Magna Carta, drawn up in 1215, is usually cited as the first piece of legislation to guarantee certain liberties and rights, although its primary purpose at the time was to limit the power of the tyrannical King John by establishing that the monarch was also subject to the rule of … We aren’t yet at a point where we would want large numbers of people meeting and joining a demonstration, but we need to be vigilant and make sure that this freedom is returned as soon as possible. For example, in 2019 Friends of the Earth helped defeat Ineos (a multinational petrochemicals company) over an "anti-protest" injunction. Even in more open countries where basic civil liberties are afforded to all citizens, you’ll still see differences. These include things like Freedom of speech, Freedom of assembly and Freedom of religious worship. November 2020. The Bill proposes to allow security services access to all communications data – i.e. Civil liberties are used to limit the power of a coercive government. Press freedom range 0-150 ranking 16 The Coalition also stated that it was committed to stopping local authority use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 unless it was for serious crime and approved by a magistrate. Nevertheless, the number of public bodies using covert surveillance continued to grow. A Lords select committee recommended in 2009 that the Government introduce a system of judicial oversight for surveillance carried out by public authorities, and that compensation be made available to those subject to unlawful surveillance. Several of the new laws were ridiculed for their absurdity; for example it was made an offence to offer for sale a game bird killed on a Sunday or Christmas Day; or to swim in the hull of the Titanic without the permission of a Cabinet minister. Following the May 2010 election, the new Coalition government said it believed the British state had become "too authoritarian" and promised to "implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties and roll back state intrusion.". There are contentions that the UK is dealing with the threat to its civil liberties, including arguments against such contentions, as well as the suggestion that guardians of civil liberties show unwarranted pessimism. Countries with already troubling track records, from Algeria to China, have been accused of using COVID-19 as an excuse to crack down on civil society "dissenters". They include freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom from arbitrary arrest, freedom of assembly, freedom of association and freedom of religious worship. Originally written in Latin a modern translation reads: "No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled; nor will we proceed with force against him except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land. Civil liberties are rights and freedoms given to residents and citizens of a country through the country’s legal system. & Analysis, Opinion We will establish a Commission to investigate the creation of a British Bill of Rights that incorporates and builds on all our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights, ensures that these rights continue to be enshrined in British law, and protects and extends British liberties. Campaigners claim that kettling stifles legitimate protests, is indiscriminate in that bystanders are often detained with the protestors, and that restricting freedom of movement in this way breaches fundamental rights under the ECHR. Civil liberties can be seen as something that prevent interference with your human rights. These powers are: the interception of communications; the acquisition of communications data (e.g. The Act creates a regulatory framework to govern the way public bodies, such as the police and security and intelligence services, use covert techniqes when investigating terrorist threats and other serious crimes, the purpose being to ensure investigatory powers are used in accordance with human rights. Signatories undertake to protect rights and freedoms within their own countries. Comment In an interview for the Guardian he described plans to routinely record information as "very dangerous". "It means that there will be information around which could be stolen, which can be acquired through corrupt officials or corrupt operators, and used, for example, to blackmail people in the government or people in the military. In the UK the concept of civil liberties has evolved over several centuries through conventions, legal precedents and legislation. So COVID19 does seem to have a higher mortality rate than influenza, assuming all infections are being reported. The impacts of the UK's Coronavirus Act (and other measures to control the spread) on civil liberties have been widespread and varied.